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Natchez garbage-collection charges going up with recycling
from Staff Reports - NEWS
May 9, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Natchez residents will see their monthly garbage-collection bill increase by almost $5 with the Board of Aldermen’s selection of a new waste hauler.

Aldermen on Tuesday gave preliminary approval of a contract with Arrow Disposal Services that would set the garbage-pickup charge at $18.45 a month per household for twice-a-week service. That’s up from the $13.74 charge that’s been in place for several years.
The new charge includes $4 for a weekly collection of recyclable trash.

Alabama-based Arrow next month will replace Waste Pro, which has been Natchez’ garbage collector since 2012 serving about 5,700 households. The pick-up schedule will remain the same: Monday and Thursday for some Natchez households and Tuesday and Friday for others. Wednesday will be collection day for recyclables from residents who choose to separate their trash.

Mayor Darryl Grennell and the board rated Arrow’s proposals and qualifications compared to Waste Pro and three other competitors in meetings closed to the public in the past month. During their open session Tuesday, the mayor and aldermen provided the public no explanations why Arrow is considered the best of the five bidding to be the city’s waste collector.

After the meeting -- when asked as the board was about to resume another closed-door session -- Grennell said Arrow has a proven record of good service in other cities it collects trash for. “They have very good recommendations,” the mayor said.

Grennell expressed displeasure about Waste Pro’s past Natchez service and cited incidences of it not picking up trash from his home on days it should.

All six Natchez aldermen voted Tuesday to approve a three-year contract with Arrow with an option to renew another three years. However, the board is meeting again today to ratify tweaks city attorney Bob Latham said is needed to finalize the contract.

Arrow will give each of Natchez’ 5,700 households two 65-gallon containers with wheels: one for conventional garbage and another for recyclables. The receptacles for garbage are the same size as Waste Pro’s. The new recyclable cans are larger than the small bins currently provided.

Grennell said Waste Pro will take away its used Natchez-marked receptacles as it winds down its service by the start of June.

While Arrow will take over curbside pickup of household garbage, the city Public Works Department will be assuming the duties of hauling off residents’ yard rubbish, such as limbs and shrubbery, and large items, such as refrigerators and furniture. Grennell said this will begin later this year and be on a special as-requested basis and not on designated days citywide.

Natchez households will be paying $4.71 more a month for garbage collection, a charge that’s tacked onto their water-usage bills. The new $18.45 garbage fee includes $4 earmarked just for recycling. There was no extra charge assessed when Waste Pro began trucking away household recyclable trash in 2013 -- the first time Natchez has ever had such pickup service

The garbage collection fee on city residential water bills includes the $1 assessed to fund the city’s measures to repel mosquitos.

Grennell and some board members had seriously considered reducing trash collection to once a week to save money, but that option fizzled as aldermen stuck with the twice-a-week routine that’s been in place for many years.

The old $13.74-a-month garbage-collection charge has been the same going back before 2012, when the Board of Aldermen severed the city’s 30-year ties with Waste Management to contract with Waste Pro.

Grennell said it’s uncertain how much money Arrow will receive in total for serving Natchez. The city budgeted about $900,000 in revenues from trash collection for the current fiscal year that began in October.

Waste Management had been handling Natchez’ garbage collection since the city privatized this government service in 1982. With the city no longer doing business with Waste Pro after more than five years on the job, Natchez will move forward with its third private garbage collector since 2012.

Alderman Dan Dillard, who noted he didn’t have many gripes about Waste Pro, pointed to the uncertainties of opting for a new trash collector not knowing for sure how well Arrow will perform. That won’t be demonstrated until it actually begins day-to-day operations. Since garbage collection is among the most common complaints made, Dillard said, constituents will let aldermen know how Arrow is doing.

Waste Pro has been collecting garbage the past few years for Adams County residents living outside Natchez. However, with its contract about to expire, the Adams County Board of Supervisors decided Monday to seek bids from other waste companies interested in getting the business. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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